Blast Meets Ballistics - Hobson Industries and AIGIS
Hobson Industries, the Lincolnshire, UK based , vehicle specialist and Aigis, the Warwickshire UK based blast technology specialist has formed a Strategic Alliance to combine their joint expertise in blast and ballistic technology to defeat new and existing IED threats.
TABREshield, the Aigis proprietary blast protection product, is a resin-based patented product that absorbs and deflects the blast from the vehicle and its occupants. No other product on the market can achieve this, as previous technologies have concentrated on deflection not absorption. The Aigis TABREshield vehicle protection system, Mineshield is installed on both soft-skinned and armoured vehicles around the world. A simple protective layer of Mineshield is fitted either in manufacture or retrofitted to the vehicle. Tests show that the shockwave from even an anti-tank mine can be absorbed and the fatal effects of both this and from fragmentation are successfully countered.
The companies conducted a joint trial of Mineshield mounted on a Hobson Land Rover at Faldingworth. The vehicle was attacked by a mock mine of some 3.5kgs and survived the blast. The charge lifted the Land Rover and turned it approximately 30º; the tyre was shredded from the wheel; the bonnet was removed and the driver’s side door was severely buckled; the floor of the Land Rover was not penetrated. The engine was started and the vehicle was driven off the range on the damaged rim.
Mineshield is inexpensive and easy to retrofit on any lightweight 4x4 vehicle but works equally well on larger vehicles. Mineshield is resin based and is an easy process to mould. The resin composite mixture can be transported to site. Aigis has installed a number of systems on Mercedes ‘G’ Wagons, Toyota Land Cruisers and Land Rovers. The Land Rover is particularly suited for such conversions. With regard to weight, because it is resin-based, the increased weight, unlike its steel counterpart system, is negligible and such a system as described would add approximately 400kgs to the vehicle weight thus enabling small adjustments to suspension and damper systems.
Hobson Industries utilise the latest specification steel and composite technologies to ensure that all vehicle protection systems are ready to meet the latest threat levels. With comprehensive on site ballistic test facilities allowing rapid development of assembly systems which are tested prior to the production process are not identified in retrospect. All the armour is bolted onto the bodies with rib-mounted fittings so that the armour can be repaired or taken off onto another vehicle without any welding required. The Hobson facility has ten bays to assemble armoured vehicles all with specially designed work stations.
"Aigis and Hobson Industries are able to provide after-market and retrofit solutions for light vehicles protection solutions, particularly Land Rover military customers. Hobson Industries provide Aigis with vital engineering capability and excellence using the extensive facilities at Donington on Bain. We see the Partnership to explore new technologies and applications, particularly side blast panels and wheel arch moulds. In addition Hobsons possess the required military licenses and ISO accreditations to flow its products through to its existing home and overseas customer base. The capabilities of the two companies in blast and ballistic technology allows us to bring the ultimate technologies to defeat these threats."